Teaching a Beginner Snowboarder to Stop Catching an Edge

Teaching a Beginner Snowboarder to Stop Catching an Edge

In the video “Teaching a Beginner Snowboarder to Stop Catching an Edge” by SnowboardProCamp, Kevin shares his experience of meeting a beginner snowboarder named Alan who was struggling with catching his heel edge. Kevin offers to ride with him and provides tips on improving beginner snowboard turns and avoiding catching the heel edge. Throughout the video, Kevin highlights Alan’s natural skills and focuses on helping him feel more in control on his toes to prevent catching the heel edge.

Kevin starts by acknowledging Alan’s natural abilities and commending his ability to strap up his board without sitting down. The main goal is to help Alan gain control and balance on his toes to avoid catching the heel edge. Kevin provides tips such as facing shoulders towards the top of the hill on toe turns and encouraging Alan to slow down on his toes while spraying snow to help with the braking process. By guiding him through different teaching methods, including verbal explanations and visual demonstrations, Kevin helps Alan improve his snowboarding skills.

Understanding the Problem

Video Overview

In this video, SnowboardProCamp’s Kevin meets Allen, a beginner snowboarder who is struggling with catching his heel edge. Kevin offers to do a lap with him and provide some tips to improve his turns and prevent him from catching his heel edge again. This article will explore the key points discussed in the video and provide comprehensive tips for beginner snowboarders who may be facing similar challenges.

Troubles with Catching Heel Edge

Allen is having difficulty with catching his heel edge while attempting toe turns. This is a common problem for beginner snowboarders, but with the right guidance and techniques, it can be overcome. The goal is to improve control and balance on the toes while slowing down to prevent catching the heel edge.

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Assessing Natural Skills

Observing Natural Abilities

Kevin notices that Allen has some natural skills in snowboarding. He is able to get off the chairlift without falling and can strap up his board without sitting down. These abilities indicate that Allen has the potential to become a proficient snowboarder.

Getting Off the Chairlift

Mastering the skill of getting off the chairlift without falling is crucial for a beginner snowboarder. Allen demonstrates this skill, which shows that he is already on the right track in his snowboarding journey.

Strapping Up the Board

Another important skill is the ability to strap up the board without sitting down. Allen has already mastered this skill, which is a good sign of his natural abilities in snowboarding.

Key Focus: Controlling on Toes

Importance of Control on Toes

Having control on the toes is essential to prevent catching the heel edge. This control allows the snowboarder to slow down, maintain balance, and smoothly transition into the next turn. It is important to prioritize developing control on the toes right from the start.

Tips for Toe Turns

Kevin provides some tips for performing successful toe turns. One important technique is to face the shoulders towards the top of the hill while going on the toes. This body position helps maintain balance and control during the turn. Taking it slow on the heels and transitioning to the toes while facing the shoulders to the top of the hill is crucial for executing smooth and controlled toe turns.

Facing Shoulders to the Top of the Hill

When going on the toes, it is important to focus on facing the shoulders towards the top of the hill. This body position helps in maintaining balance and stability during the turn. By letting go and looking to the top of the hill while pushing on the toes, snowboarders can achieve better control and prevent catching the heel edge.

Slowing Down on Toes

Slowing down on the toes is a challenge for many beginner snowboarders. Kevin emphasizes the importance of slowing down on the toes for better control. Taking it slow and gradually building speed helps in maintaining balance and improving control. Snowboarders should aim to slow themselves down on the toes and maintain a steady pace throughout the turn.

Teaching a Beginner Snowboarder to Stop Catching an Edge

Encouraging Slowing Down on Toes

Emphasizing Slowing Down

Kevin encourages Allen to focus on slowing down on the toes. Slowing down allows for better control and stability while preventing the risk of catching the heel edge. Snowboarders should prioritize a gradual decrease in speed while on the toes to maintain a safe and controlled ride.

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Tools to Help Slow Down on Toes

To aid in slowing down on the toes, Kevin provides some useful tools. One effective tool is to spray a little snow to the side while on the toes. This technique helps in creating additional resistance and slowing down faster. Snowboarders can practice spraying snow to the side to enhance their control and gradually reduce speed on the toes.

Providing Visual Demonstrations

A visual demonstration can be helpful for snowboarders to understand and imitate the correct techniques. Kevin demonstrates the proper way to make turns, allowing Allen to observe and learn from his movements. Visual demonstrations can be particularly useful for visual learners and provide them with a clear example to follow.

Building Rhythm and Control

Creating a Rhythm with Turns

Snowboarders can improve their rhythm and control by creating a pattern with their turns. Kevin suggests counting to three in their heads to establish a rhythm. This rhythm can be achieved by performing back-and-forth turns, with each turn accompanied by a count. Establishing a rhythm helps in maintaining a smooth flow and enhances overall control during turns.

Using Tail to Sweep Snow

In order to maintain control and slow down, snowboarders can use their tail to sweep the snow. Kevin demonstrates the technique of pushing the snow away with the tail of the board to control speed and create additional resistance. By imitating this movement, snowboarders can stay in control, slow down, and enhance their overall riding experience.

Counting to Three for Rhythm

Counting to three in their heads can further enhance rhythm and control during turns. This counting technique helps snowboarders establish a consistent pattern and timing for their turns. By counting to three and following a rhythmic sequence, snowboarders can maintain better control, balance, and flow throughout their rides.

Foundation for Moving Forward

Recognizing Progress

As Allen makes progress in improving his snowboarding skills, Kevin acknowledges his achievements. Celebrating progress is important to stay motivated and build confidence. Beginner snowboarders should recognize their own progress and appreciate the small victories along their learning journey.

Importance of Slowing on Toes for Foundation

The ability to slow down on the toes forms the foundation for further progression in snowboarding. Once snowboarders master controlling their speed and balance on the toes, they can confidently move on to more advanced techniques and maneuvers. Slowing down on the toes is a fundamental skill that sets the stage for future growth and development as a snowboarder.

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Utilizing Space for Control

Benefit of More Space

Having more space while practicing turns provides beginners with a better opportunity to focus on their technique and maintain control. Kevin advises Allen to choose a spot on the mountain with more space to ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment. Utilizing more space allows for better control and reduces the risk of collisions with other snowboarders.

Choosing the Right Spot

Selecting the right spot is crucial when practicing turns. Areas on the mountain with less traffic and more space provide beginners with the freedom to experiment with their turns and develop better control. Choosing less crowded areas ensures a safer and more enjoyable snowboarding experience.

Avoiding Heel Catches

Preventing Falls

One of the main goals in snowboarding is to avoid catching the heels and falling backward. Kevin emphasizes the importance of preventing falls and provides Allen with tools to achieve better control and balance. Slowing down on the toes and maintaining control minimizes the risk of catching the heels and reduces the likelihood of falls.

Tools to Avoid Catching Heels

To avoid catching the heels, snowboarders can utilize various techniques and tools. By practicing the tips mentioned earlier, such as facing the shoulders to the top of the hill and spraying snow to the side, snowboarders can improve their ability to control their speed and prevent catching the heels. The use of these tools helps in ensuring a safe and enjoyable snowboarding experience.

Breaking Up Turns for Clarity

Improving Turn Breaks

Breaking up turns into separate parts can provide beginners with more clarity in their movements. Kevin advises Allen to break up his turns, allowing for more thinking time between each turn. This approach gives beginners the opportunity to evaluate their technique, make adjustments, and build a stronger foundation for their turns.

Giving More Thinking Time

Part of improving turn breaks involves giving snowboarders more thinking time between each turn. Rushing between turns can lead to mistakes and hinder progression. By allowing for more thinking time, beginners can analyze their movements, adjust their technique, and make better decisions during their rides.


Praising Progress

Allen’s progress throughout the session is acknowledged and celebrated by Kevin. The importance of recognizing and appreciating one’s progress is emphasized. Beginner snowboarders should embrace their accomplishments and continue to push themselves towards improvement.

Tips for Beginner Snowboarders

For beginner snowboarders facing difficulties with catching the heel edge, the following tips can be helpful:

  • Focus on controlling on the toes and slowing down on the toes.
  • Face the shoulders to the top of the hill when going on the toes.
  • Spray snow to the side to help slow down on the toes.
  • Utilize visual demonstrations to better understand proper techniques.
  • Create a rhythm with turns by counting to three in the head.
  • Use the tail to sweep snow and maintain control.
  • Choose spots on the mountain with more space for practice.
  • Break up turns for better clarity and thinking time.

By implementing these tips and techniques, beginner snowboarders can overcome their challenges with catching the heel edge and improve their overall control and balance on the slopes.

Hi there, I'm Jesse Hull, the author behind AK Fresh Pow. "Shred The Knar There Bud" is not only our tagline, but also our way of life. As a Husband and Father, I embrace the thrill of conquering the slopes. Being a retired Infantry Paratrooper has taught me discipline and a love for adventure. Now, as a new snowboarder/skier, I'm embracing the freedom and adrenaline rush that comes with it. Alongside these passions, I am a full-time student at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska, continuously expanding my knowledge and skills. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the beauty of the snowy mountains together.